Explorer yachts set new trend for ‘off the beaten track’ seafaring

Date: 29 Sep 2016


Martin Bellamy, chairman of OneOcean Ventures, a new venture from Salamanca,also says all eyes are on Antibes port which is set to find bidders for a major redevelopment.

What’s the hottest topic at the Monaco Yacht show?

Without doubt, the explosive growth of the top end of the market has been a continuing theme. It is growing at a staggering rate; with around 750 yachts being built, seventy are over seventy-five meters and twenty over 100m.The launch of the new Dilbar (157m) last month, the world’s biggest yacht measured by volume and fourth largest by length, is an example of what is being built. Attention will also be drawn to the future of Antibes, one of the most important destination ports for superyachts. A new concession will be offered to the successful bidder at the end of the year to facilitate a major redevelopment estimated to be worth around‚Ǩ200million.

Yacht owners attract attention from the media and can be subject to random customs searches. Is this an accepted part of this world?

Yes, a high-value yacht is seen as the ultimate luxury possession and it is more visible than a private jet or a valuable home. It is also increasingly difficult to hide the ultimate owner and therefore any client considering the purchase of a yacht needs to do due their diligence. There are no shortcuts as yachts will attract scrutiny often in the extreme.

What trends are you seeing?

There has been a shift in style of vessel coming to market, with explorer yachts being flavour of the month. These yachts are capable of ocean crossing and designed as more accommodating for ‘off the beaten track’ seafaring.

Have yachts got bigger?

Whilst the average size of superyachts has increased over the past decade and the world’s biggest (180m) is about to be surpassed (222m), at the very upper end of the market, many owners have settled in the range of 90m — 110m in terms of new build yachts. Even so, such a size brings with it the difficulty of finding a berth; with real berthing shortages in the Mediterranean, many yachts are having to be left at anchor. This has been a driving factor behind the increase in berth capacity at marinas in the Mediterranean.

Why do UHNWs buy superyachts?

One reason is privacy. A number of major business deals have been conducted on very high-value yachts that will captivate their audience and allow for absolute discretion.

How much do your clients spend on yachts?

A superyacht can range from a 25m classic yacht to a 180m ‘monster’ so I would estimate in broad terms that the value could range from ¬£8m – ¬£600m.

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